In a roster of 26 men, sometimes players get lost in plain view. For example, you’d be forgiven if you forgot that Chase Anderson was still on the team. Did you forget about Matt Joyce? No problem. There is one player that everyone keeps forgetting about and they really shouldn’t be. That man is Ranger Suarez.
So far, Ranger Suarez has pitched 20.1 IP for the Phillies this season. Would you like to guess what his ERA is? 5? 4.24? 3.11? 2.76? Not even close.
Ranger Suarez hasn’t allowed an earned run yet. That’s right. His ERA is at 0.
When everyone was rightfully celebrating Luke Williams’ big moment, it was Ranger who set the stage. After Zach Eflin came out of the game, Ranger allowed nothing for 3 innings. Not a single Atlanta Brave reached base, keeping it a 1-run game.
And then the feelgood moment of the season happened.
Now Back to Ranger Suarez…
Ignore 2020. It was a weird year for everyone. That being said, Ranger Suarez has shown success in the majors before. In 2019, he pitched in 37 games with a 3.14 ERA. While that’s pretty good, 2021 has been a different level. Ranger has allowed less than half a baserunner an inning with a .492 WHIP. His strikeout rate of 8.0 K/9 is the highest of his career.
The highest batting average he’s allowing is on his fastball, even though it’s only .182.
Ranger’s real bread and butter have been his sinker and changeup. He’s thrown his sinker over 40% (41.6%) of the time and allowed only a .132 BAA. He’s thrown his changeup 32.3% of the time and had allowed just a single hit (.036 BAA).
Ranger isn’t a spinrate darling either. His fastball spin rate is in the 1st percentile of all pitchers, the lowest percentile. He’s just been causing a lot of weak contact. Only one pitch he’s thrown has been barreled up all year.
A longman isn’t usually the best pitcher in the bullpen, but Ranger has been the Phillies’ best bullpen piece. His versatility could be especially helpful following Spencer Howard. Howard can’t pitch past the 4th inning right now. The Phillies piggybacked Ranger off of Howard in his last start. That could be a reoccurring theme as it allows Howard to get valuable playing time in the majors.
Photo by Cody Glenn/Icon Sportswire